Skip Nav
Weight gain
5 Ways to Tone Your Tummy
10 Tabata Workouts That Will Help You Burn Some Serious Calories
Fitness Gear
Workout Clothes to Show Off Your Love of Wine

Losing Weight on a Junk Food Diet

What Do You Think About This Man's Junk Food Diet?

Mark Haub, a researcher at Kansas State University, tried out a restricted-calorie junk foot diet for 10 weeks to see what would happen. That meant lots of Doritos, Hostess cakes, and Twinkies in place of his normal meals, plus a daily protein shake and a few vegetables. He did, however, only consume 1,800 calories a day, compared to 2,600 of healthy foods like he usually did.

The result? Mark lost 27 pounds in two months and now weighs 174 pounds. In addition, he lowered his LDL cholesterol, upped the good stuff (HDL), and reduced his triglycerides by 39 percent. His body fat percentage dropped from 33.4 to 24.9 percent.

But even though restricting his caloric intake meant Haub came out of his experiment measurably healthier, dietitians and even the researcher himself don't recommend trying out the experiment.


"There are things we can't measure," said dietitian Jackson Blatner when interviewed about the results. "How much does that affect the risk for cancer? We can't measure how diet changes affect our health." Haub added, "I'm not geared to say this is a good thing to do."

What do you think of the experiment?

Source: Flickr User Christian Cable

Join The Conversation
Spectra Spectra 6 years
He's just proving that by reducing your caloric intake, you lose weight. That's all there is to it; it doesn't mean his diet was healthy though. Many anorexics will eat nothing but say, a candy bar and a handful of Skittles every day. And yeah, they lose weight. But to say that it's a diet that would ever be sustainable long-term is ridiculous.
Ninabear218 Ninabear218 6 years
I've followed the whole idea that a calorie is a calorie for dieting. I did end up losing 45 pounds just doing that and cutting my calories. Some days I did eat like crap but I did stay in my calorie max. I did learn however that you can eat sometimes twice as much when choosing healthy foods versus junk. For someone who generally has bad eating habits this may be a good exercise to let someone see how little the are able to eat when choosing unhealthy food options on a diet. Maybe they eventually would even begin to make healthy options in order feel more satisfied.
tigr3bianca tigr3bianca 6 years
He proved his point- calorie is a calorie. Whether it comes from fruit or a twinkie. He cut out 800 calories which is pretty high, most diets recommend 500. But in terms of actual fat loss, I think he may have lost a lot of muscle since the items he was eating have negligible protein. Yes BMI charts were never meant to measure individuals, they were for populations. Fat percentage is much more accurate.
darc5204 darc5204 6 years
Actually, I think his "study" made a good point, which is showing what a huge factor body weight is for cholesterol, independent of food choices. I'm sure he wasn't trying to set a good example. but "a healthy diet is always better than a healthy weight"? In my opinion, a healthy diet will lead to a healthy weight in nearly all cases.
Deidre Deidre 6 years
I think it's sort of a no-brainer that if you cut 800 calories out of your daily diet that you're going to lost weight. But dropping pounds and being healthy are not necessarily one and the same!
wackdoodle wackdoodle 6 years
Dude could leave his home tomorrow and get struck by debris from an airplane or get hit by a car or shot by a random stranger and some loon would try to connect his death to his random diet. Like any diet no matter how ridiculous or unbalanced if you restrict your calorie consumption you will lose weight no matter what substance you choose to consume. As far as assuming that he's now at risk for cancer or other diseases or attempting to use this brief diet period as a mark for if in the future he gets cancer is ridiculous and not real science. Being born and remaining alive for any extended period of time increases your chance of developing a disease. Unless someone has taken this gentlemen's full family medical history, plotted his genome, studied, understood and rule out any genetic defects already in his DNA or thoroughly the environments in which he lives, works and has played in his life prior to this diet at no point in time in the future can any intelligent person say "Oh dude you got cancer cause you only ate twinkies for whatever period of time." Of course many morons well say that his diet will cause future catastrophic health issues but of course they are morons and like all things morons say they cannot back any of it up with facts and provable, testable evidence.
Feesje Feesje 6 years
He must have been hungry all the time.
Mila_83 Mila_83 6 years
I think he set a terrible example - its not simply about losing weight but about being healthy and eating well-balanced nutritious diet. There is a reason why he supplemented his diet with vitamins and protein shakes, I doubt Twinkies provided him with vitamins/minerals needed for a healthy lifestyle. He did not discover anything new - weight loss is all about calories in vs. calories out; however, it is absolutely wrong to promote weight loss as more important thing than healthy balanced diet.
White Skittles For Pride Month
What Is the DASH Diet?
Why You Should Eat More Plants: Advice from a Registered Dietitian
Flavors of America Candy Collection
From Our Partners
Latest Fitness
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds